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  • Rev. Brandon Rich

What I did: Keep control of beverages

Have you ever read the labels on your favorite soft drinks? If you haven’t, you should! The typical can of regular soda has anywhere from 140 to 160 calories. The larger bottled sodas have well over 200 calories. Have you ever read the label on bottles of fruit juices, like grape juice, apple juice, orange juice? You might automatically associate fruit juices with good health, but the problem is all of the added sugar which makes them extremely high in calories. Have you been to your favorite coffee shop and looked at the calories there? My two favorite latte beverages are the caramel macchiato and the white chocolate mocha, but these are off the table for me and probably will be for a very long time. The caramel macchiato has over 300 calories. The white chocolate mocha has over 500 calories! My favorite fast food restaurant is known for its delicious lemonade which in the largest size has over 600 calories! Have you looked at the labels of your favorite coffee creamer for the coffee that you drink at home or at work? You may be shocked to realize how much sugar and how many calories you are putting into your cup of coffee without even realizing it. Have you ever looked at the labels and counted calories in your favorite alcoholic beverages? If you haven’t, you should.

If you have a lot of weight to lose, you simply must be mindful of the calories in your beverages. When you’re losing weight, the most important beverage is water. Your body needs to be hydrated and you do not need to be consuming unnecessary calories in your beverages. Everyone needs to drink a healthy amount of water every day, especially if you’re trying to lose weight as this helps flush things out of your system and keep your body healthy. In addition to all of that, plain old fashion water has no calories. There are other 0 calorie beverages that you may also choose to drink, such as black coffee, tea and yes, certain 0 calorie diet sodas, but these should be limited as so many of them have artificial sweeteners. I like to drink diet sodas sweetened with Stevia that are much healthier than those with other less healthy artificial sweeteners. You will pay a little bit higher price, but it is worth it for the sake of your health. Except for the days when you may choose to fast, you are going to consume food and beverages every day, which means you’re going to consume calories. That being the case, you want your calories to be well-chosen. You want the calories that you do consume to come from highly nutritious foods that are high in protein, low in sugar, low in carbohydrates and low in sodium and other things that you don’t need in abundance. The last thing you want to do is waste your calorie budget on things that don’t help you. That 300 calorie sugary soda, that 500 calorie sugary and high-fat latte or that 600 calorie sugary glass of fruit juice can completely ruin your calorie intake and negate your calorie deficit for an entire day. It would be very easy for someone to consume an entire day’s worth of calories from high-calorie beverages without even realizing it. So, if you are serious about losing weight, you need to create a daily calorie deficit where you burn more calories than you consume. One of the best ways to get control of the calories that you consume is to be mindful of the calories that you ingest from your beverages. Eliminate beverages with calories. Focus more on water and then to a lesser extent healthy 0-calorie beverages like tea and coffee. If you are like me, you can allow yourself the occasional treat of your favorite diet soda, but limit that. Don’t drink six or seven diet sodas a day. Let yourself have maybe one or two. It’s easy to think about the calories in the foods that you eat, but perhaps it is less likely to be mindful of the calories from beverages, but it is absolutely vital. You need to count the calories of everything you consume, whether it be beverages, food, breath mints, chewing gum, even vitamins and herbal supplements have calories in them. Count. Every. Calorie. Create a daily calorie deficit.

If I can do it, you can do it. So…go do it!

For those interested in my weight loss journey, I’ve started sharing details on my new platforms. Follow me on Facebook at Weddings and Weight Loss and on Instagram @WeddingsAndWeightLoss. You can also go to my website,

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